I set out on this career transformation in June, when I started Martha Beck’s Life Coach Training. While I expected to learn a whole new set of skills, I didn’t realize how much self-growth I would experience these past three months.
I’ve been even more blessed by having friends and family who have been willing to open up their innermost thoughts and feelings to work with me as I practice the tools. Some have even recommended me to their friends and family, which is an honor I can only describe as a bubbling overflow of love emanating out of my chest.
I started off coaching for free with the limiting belief that I shouldn’t charge until I was fully certified. Yet, many have asked to pay me because they’re getting more out of a few months of coaching than they have through months and years of therapy. This response was a pleasant surprise…and affirms that I made the right decision.
I feel pure joy when a practice client has an ‘aha’ moment. It’s palpable when it happens. There’s a peace and calmness that is exchanged between our energies when we end a session. That in itself is a gift to receive when giving.
Through coaching, I have grown personally and professionally, my clients have grown in their own life journeys, and my quantity of practice clients has grown organically. What started as five raised hands grew to eight, then ten, then fifteen…and for a month or so I was consistently meeting with three clients a day. I started charging the clients who were willing and offering to pay for services rendered. As I developed my business plan and set goals, I set my sights on coaching what is considered the “maximum” of five clients per day.
Today, I hit that goal. As scheduling luck would have it, I coached five clients today…and it was wonderful.
Admittedly there was a curiosity as to whether I would feel “rushed.” The most important thing I can be for my clients is a place of peace and calm. There are few rules in coaching, and while I honor our core values and esteem to embody each one, I try to stay very conscious of whether I am “invested” in an outcome. In training, we say “be clean.”
Even having the motivation of “helping” a client means we have an agenda. Attachment to an agenda or an ‘outcome’ takes you out of peace and calm and into a place of guiding and directing with a purpose. That’s dangerous territory. Whether a client has an epiphany or they’re exactly the same at the end as they were when we got on the call is NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Their path is their path and it will unfold as it was intended. Coaching without any expectations allows us to be fully present and listening while “existing in perpetual creative response to whatever is present” (Yogi Amrit Desai).
The irony is that to be called to do Life Coaching comes from a desire to help people. However, we must let go of our ego…let go of our desires any thoughts, opinions or emotions that may project onto the client.
It’s harder than it sounds, though certainly not impossible if we are consistently doing the work on ourselves.
I will admit that I have realized in sessions that I have opinions. When I do, there is a tangible difference in how that session goes if I am unable to ground myself and “get clean.” I’ve found that having space between clients to clear my mind, ground myself, and become present inside my own body is the best way to avoid going into a session with a motivation to help. This was the epiphany I had that finally helped me truly understand one of our core values of: “Be the window, not the light.” I am merely a vessel for the tools and it’s up to the client and the tools to work together.
One tool I use to center myself before a client session is an App called Insight Timer, which was recommended by a client who also enjoys meditation. Within the free App, there are a variety of types/styles of meditations as well as lengths of time. How much time I have before the next session starts usually determines which one I choose to do.
This morning when I woke up, in anticipation of a full day, I reviewed each of my clients’ previous session notes and prepped today’s session document so that I could maximize the half hour between sessions to meditate and become present and clear. Reserving that time between sessions means that if a session runs over (like they often do), it is ok to let it flow as it needs to for a natural closure.
Today was a good test-run for the future. Thanks to my clients (you know who you are) for allowing me to be with you where our journeys intersect.